Later this afternoon, I will be having a conversation with our latest client, Alissa. She knows a thing or two; more like a thousand about things falling apart.
She wrote a book on the topic. Well not exactly, however, for this purpose I will summarise the content as such. For the past week, this book has been my bedtime reading. Frankly, E-books are not my preferred way of reading, however, Alissa’s have been a “cannot put down” kind of read.
Things Fall Apart, The Centre Cannot Hold
When I lived in Jamaica, there was a popular talk show host who would often quote W.B. Yeats:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”
We would all laugh when he said it. A sad laugh as we all recognised the reality of his words. Just looking at one’s own life, for sure mine, the bricks of my dreams were laying all around me.
Reading Alissa’s story, took me right back along my own shitty-street somewhat as described in yesterday’s post. Chatting with her on Whatsapp over the last week, I said to her that reading her book makes me sad, that I felt as if I am her big sister who did not warn her.
That is the bad part. Seeing things fall apart all around you, having your world fall repeatedly fall apart, inch by inch, and not being able to warn anyone that they too are in danger.
My first reading of the novel, “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe left me with a headache and swollen eyes but I just could not put it down. Wrote about that before but as I am reading Alissa’s journey, my thoughts went back to that feeling.
The country of my birth is Jamaica and the trajectory of my journey is different in many ways from that of the protagonist Okonkwo in that book. However, the same cannot be said about Alissa’s journey. In many ways, in too many ways, we shared similar experiences.
Some close to me in my childhood did not know the hell that I was a resident of. As an only child, many thought that I was spoilt and basically got whatever I wanted. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Unwanted attention, physical abuse from my mother, and sexual molestation were some of my childhood ‘gifts’.
In the darkness of my room, the tears would flow. My childhood was awful, yet as with Alissa’s (who I am so eager for you to meet), the lessons learned are invaluable.
The Good Fall Into Place
By the Grace of God goes I.”
One thing I know for sure, well more than one but on this issue of childhood abuse and molestation, too many children are still being preyed upon. Speaking of the land of my birth, too many women are being raped right now as this is being written. Actually:
- In 2019, up to November of that year, 1,500 children were reported as being neglected and/or abused. Imagine how many cases went unreported?
- According to reports last year, statistics show “that four out of every five young girls lost their virginity to rape or molestation.”
Before anyone comes after me, the situation is as dire in both Canada and the United States. The focus here on Jamaica is due to the upcoming interview with Alissa tomorrow. Visit our Facebook or our Instagram page and profile and follow so that you get notified when the interview is posted.
Wherever you live, wherever you grew up, if you were (or heaven forbid are) the target of childhood sexual abuse or rape, things do fall apart. What my hope is that through our work here at Daughters of Sheba Foundation, generally, and hearing Alissa’s story tomorrow, you will come to understand that you can survive.
You can help us help women and children, particularly children at this time with educational support. As my mother always said, “Education will take you through the world.”
Do leave a comment below whether you would like to share your own journey, reach out to other readers of our blog or simply to let us know that you care.
Peace and Love